The Prayers Stand by to Open the Pearly Gates

    Did the Plot to Blow
    Up the Eiffel Tower go soft? Local indie-rock quartet the Prayers originally
    derived three members from the former San Diego punk outfit — though only two
    remain — and their new routine drives the ’00 rock ’n’ roll-revival (led by acts
    like the Strokes and the Libertines) down to the beach bar for some synced
    harmonies and bluesy surf-rock conventions.

    San Diego’s mini
    music scene historically rides a cycle of hills and valleys, regenerating every
    few years. According to the Prayers, chatting in the Che Cafe backwoods between
    sets last Saturday night, they currently share a nook with friend-bands like
    the Sess, the Muslims and Atoms, together pushing the city’s musical
    resurgence. Art Fag Recordings, fronted by label tastemaker Mario Orduno,
    released their 4-song debut EP God Save the Prayers back in April; star track
    “Loose Lips” layers shimmering rays of guitar over a punchy, airtight rhythm
    section, and “Clandestino” pairs a walking bassline with the warm and crunchy
    tube-amp class that guitar legends are made of.

    The boys played to a
    respectable crowd at the Che, sharing a cozy stage with some chummy indie-soft
    accomplices and appeasing an amicable yet jaded hipster posse. “I hear some
    people/ Talking about me/ They got tongues like razor blades/ They don’t think
    twice/ About fucking up your life,” lead singer/guitarist Brandon Welchez
    belted on “Loose Lips,” with a knowing air of SoCal street-smarts.

    Simple as it is, the
    Prayers found their band name (also claimed by a pack of Glasgow fuzz-rockers in the late ’80s, among
    others) obnoxious to come up with. “We wanted a name that didn’t force us into
    a certain style of music. Like if you call yourselves the Jew Killers, you’re
    going to be stuck with a certain image,” said the band. They’re certainly
    living up to their holy nomenclature, securing a local following while cutting
    demos of new material for an eventual full-length, slated for sometime next

    Until then, catch
    the Prayers this Friday at FallFest, opening for the Roots. “Andrew [guitar,
    vocals] kind of has a bone to pick with ?uestlove,” joked Welchez. My money’s
    on the ’fro.

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